If you haven’t watched the series, Cheer, on Netflix yet, you must! It’s great.
Honestly, I wasn’t thrilled to watch a series about cheerleading. Just not something I thought I would be interested in, but it’s so much more than a show about cheerleading. It’s about getting to great performance, about inclusion, about leadership, and about how a great leader with a vision and no-how can take any organization to the next level.
For those who haven’t seen Cheer, I’ll give you the quick rundown. Navarro College is a two-year community college in the middle of nowhere Texas, that has a multi-time national championship cheer team. It’s led by hometown coach, Monica Aldama, who just happens to have a degree in Finance from the Univ. of Texas, Austin, and her MBA, but decided to come back to sleepy Corsicana, TX to get married and raise her family.
She was a cheerleader in high school and decided to take a job as cheer coach at the local college, and her type-A personality, world-class attention to detail, superior drive, business knowledge, lead her to become the greatest cheer coach in the country at any level, where kids from all over the US are looking to come to Navarro College if you want to reach the highest level of cheer.
Why is Monica Aldama the Greatest Leader of our Time?
– She’s performance-driven at a world-class level. She seeks perfection and understands to get there she has to rely on 20-ish 18 to 21-year-olds who have to be pushed to levels they can’t even imagine.
– She’s a relationship-based leader. To get the highest performance out of someone as a leader, that person must believe and trust 100% that you have their best interest in mind. Their future. That you are helping them become the best version of themselves and nothing else.
– She is a data-driven leader. Early on Monica found out her background in finance and numbers would serve her well in how these competitions were scored and understood beyond her peers what it would really take to win at the highest level.
– Practice, practice, practice. Another thing that most people don’t understand about the show is Navarro Collge, being a two-year college isn’t under NCAA rules for practice time, scholarships, etc. There is an NJCAA governing body, but having a kid who played two years of JUCO baseball, I can tell you there are no real rules! So, Monica being at a two-year school gives her a major advantage over traditional four-year schools bound by NCAA practic rules. Is that fair? Is that too much on these kids? If you want to be the best, and this coach and these kids do, you don’t care. They don’t care!
– Attention to detail is off the charts! The way you practice. The way you look. The way to represent the team and the community. Every single step, movement, she is watching. I find that the greatest leaders I work with have extremely high attention to detail. They see things others don’t, all the time, and then make sure those things are changed for the better.
– She embraces diversity and inclusion. Monica was raised and lives in a very conservative area. Many of her athletes, especially on the male side, are gay. Many are people of color. Many come from disadvantage homelives. She embraces it all and helps these kids grow into adults.
– She has high rational compassion. What’s that? She cares about everyone on her team as an individual, but she isn’t willing to hurt the overall team, for the sake of one individual. You are injured. You were on the performing team. If we keep you, you might not perform to the level we need to win. You are now off the performing team, and we’ve replaced you with an alternate. The team needs this, and you need to support it, as you are still a part of this team, and you having drama right now hurts our team.
Here’s what I know. You could put Monica into the CEO role of any Fortune 500 company, today, and she would succeed. She has all of the DNA needed to be great at leading people, leading an organization, reaching extremely high performance.
Set a goal. Have the vision. Do the work. Hold people accountable. Care for each other.
Originally posted on The Tim Sackett Project blog.